Wedding planning, as everyone knows, is an exciting as well as daunting task. There are so many details and it’s easy to lose track of everything. It pays to be organized.
And, if you’re starting to freak out a little bit because you think you’re not an organized person, don’t worry. There are plenty of different ways to help you organize your wedding depending on your lifestyle, your level of organizational skills and the level of difficulty you have making decisions.
Here’s what I found works for me — The Ultimate Google Doc. If you’ve never used Google docs, I highly recommend you start. You can access them through your gmail account so everything is all in one place for when you’re contacting vendors and guests through email and then wanting to get all the correct information down (without having to remember to save!) That’s the brilliant thing about Google docs — it automatically saves everything for you.
Anyway, I chose to use a Google doc to organize all my information because, one, I’m on my computer a majority of my day, two, I’m a list-maker so creating a spreadsheet was key, three, I color-code because I’m the visual type, four, I can share the doc with my fiance and maid of honor to keep us both on the same page with planning, and five, my gmail is synced to my phone so everything I need is on-the-go. It’s quick and it’s easy.
The timeline starts 12 months before the wedding with a list under the 12-month mark for what I need to accomplish, then the next column is an area for details and notes. The timeline goes on with lists under eight months before, 6 months before, 4 months, etc. I’ve highlighted the lists green and the details yellow to break it up visually.
The budget has a description, what event it’s for, how much we expect it will cost, and how much we actually paid for it and the date of purchase.
The vendors/venues sheet has each name (of possibilities at this point) with contact information, location, what part of the wedding the vendor will be used for, needs and estimated pricing. The same can go for the honeymoon sheet — name, contact information, location and cost.
Music is divided into two groups, the ceremony and reception. The rehearsal dinner and bridal shower are used for invites, RSVP confirmation, contact info, location and costs.
Guest list is sorted first by wedding party (role in the wedding), then close family, extended relatives and friends. The columns after their names have labels for their relation, their role, their address, their phone number and RSVP confirmation. This makes the next couple of tabs easy because you can just copy the guest names onto the seating sheet and gifts/thank you sheet, put them in alphabetical order by last name and boom, those are done. And, you also have their addresses for thank you notes you can copy in as well.
All events are color coded (with shades of our wedding colors) and all guests are color coded so we know who belongs with the groom and who belongs with the bride.
And finally, the wedding sheet has all the plans for the day, what time they happen, who does what, ceremony procedures and the average weather temperatures.
I know all that sounds like a lot, and it sounds complicated, but really, it’s quick and easy because you can copy and paste all the information you gather on one document, it’s all in one place, you can easily customize it for your own needs, plus it’s clean and readable.